Rodgers backs Dembele for France's World Cup squad

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The French forward was linked with Chelsea during the summer, but his club boss believes he can earn international recognition with the Bhoys

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers believes Bhoys striker Moussa Dembele has enough talent to make France's squad for the World Cup.

The 21-year-old netted a hat-trick for France's Under-21 side during the international break to take his tally to seven goals in 10 games for the under-age side, and Rodgers believes that similar form for Celtic will ensure that he is part of the conversation when Didier Deschamps is choosing his 23-man panel for Russia next summer.

Dembele 11/5 to score first v Ross County

Dembele has five goals in his last five games for Celtic, with Rodgers hopeful that a place in the Europa League knockout stage can help his forward's chances of international recognition.

“That’s something which can certainly get him the opportunity,” Rodgers told The Scotsman. “Then you can do no more.

“Moussa is now up to speed in his fitness. He’s scoring goals for his club and got a great hat-trick for the France Under-21s on Monday. It looks like he is developing and continuing – he can do no more.

Moussa Dembele Celtic

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“The only thing is that there is a group of really, really talented players in front of him in the France squad at the moment. But if he keeps knocking on the door, you never know. It may open for him.

“For all those boys, between now and the end of the season, they will want to be in with a chance of that. To do that, they need to play well. I’ve spoken to the French manager before but I’m not in regular contact with him.

“It has just been a process with Moussa this season after his injury. You saw when he came back that he was fit but he wasn’t football fit. He didn’t quite have that sharpness. But gradually he has been working and moving better.”

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